Reflecting on My Zodiac Challenges

It’s typical of me to be more excited about starting new challenges than reflecting on past challenges. It’s partly why I do the challenges the way that I do. I want to help people take the time to dig deep and think hard for themselves. I want to help them think about what comes after the reading, where its insights can lead, and what can actually be done with the information gleaned from them.

A few years ago, I found myself frequently turning to my deck in moments of listlessness. It had stopped being a guide and was more of a security blanket. I did a reading., interpreted it, and then tucked it away without much reflection or introspection. In some ways, the simple ritual of drawing the cards replaced the work needed after pulling the cards. I’m sure we all go through that period in our practice from time to time, but it wasn’t productive for me. It made me even question the utility of tarot in my own life. It was something I could help others through, but I was like a fogged mirror, unable to see myself with any clarity. And to make matters worse, I think the readings I received from the cards gave me confidence in doing what I was doing. 

That isn’t to say that confidence isn’t helpful—it is—but it’s not a good long-term strategy for problem solving. You can only bluster your way through so many tangles before you’re all tied up in your own nonsense. Thankfully the wall I hit didn’t knock me into a pit of despair, but it did prevent me from growing. And things in my life did need some examination and reflection. I was comfortable and settled. I like striving for things and always improving myself, learning new things, trying new things, and I’d gotten into a rut. That in itself was all right because it was mostly good things, but it was all day-to-day life with no bigger goal, and after enough of that, I was glad to take up the cards again with a renewed interest in their ability to help me examine my own thoughts, goals, and purpose.

The point of all that is to say that the challenges are designed to make people pay attention to the readings they do and to bring certain cards and ideas and messages back up and investigate them in new settings and with other influences. And then I ask people to plan next steps, to check in with their surroundings through sensory cues and triggers, and to work toward something. 

Honestly, they’re heavy lifts, for me and for anyone who joins in. I’ve thought about simplifying them (and I usually throw in a lighter day or two in the middle), but those challenges exist already. And they’re fine, but I want to offer something different.

And it’s been so gratifying to see people take on these challenges. It’s not a lot of people who join in, or at least it’s not a lot who post about it online, but the impact it has for those few makes it all worth it. Now that I’m wrapping up the third challenge, the Fire Starter Challenge for Aries, I’m excited to continue the rest of the year’s signs. I plan to make a workbook for the whole year of signs to encourage people go through these offline in good time. You could easily spend an hour or two with some of the spreads, and Instagram isn’t an ideal forum for that. (Some of the spreads don’t require all that much time.) And some really benefit from repeat viewings and reflections, so having a paper trail might be quite convenient. I know I end up keeping them offline in photos and Notes synced across my various devices. Even then I could spend five times as long with them as I do. But until I take a spiritual retreat or get fired from my day job, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Anyway, thank you if you’ve participated, and thank you for looking out for future challenges. And if you want to join in, I’ve now included links to all of the prompt posts on Instagram at the bottom of the post introducing the challenge.